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NFL Fantasy Matchups: Week 15

hi-res-152098194_crop_exactHow will Dez Bryant deal with is finger injury? Will Aaron Hernandez have another great game like the one he did last week now that he is healthy and is Cam Newton back to being SuperCam? All these questions and more are answered in this week’s edition of fantasy football studs or duds.

Quarterbacks

STUDS

Cam Newton—It seems like Cam is back to being an elite fantasy quarterback. Over the past 3 weeks, he has scored a total of 101 fantasy points (ESPN STANDARD), an absolutely amazing number.  That’s the beautiful thing about a dual threat quarterback; they can beat you either way and usually produce great fantasy numbers. This week he faces off against the Chargers and is a must start the rest of the way.

Josh Freeman – Whenever quarterbacks play the Saints they are always due for a big game. The last time Freeman played New Orleans he ended his day with 29 fantasy points. That is as good of a green light for me than anything else. Even if Tampa Bay loses the game, Freeman will have the stats to make him a strong fantasy option.

DUDS

Colin Kaepernick – The Patriots defense is starting to get hot and they feed off takeaways. Bill Belichick always finds a way to shut down mobile quarterbacks and that is exactly who Kaepernick is. The Pats will force him to beat them with his arm rather than his legs. Their goal is to keep him in the pocket, force him to throw, and try to match Brady pass for pass. When you look at it that way, it seems that it will be impossible for him to do so. I do not like Kaepernick this week and I would look for other options at the quarterback if you own him.

Andrew Luck – I like this quarterback and I eventually think he will be an elite fantasy quarterback, but on Sunday he is facing a tough Houston defense that is foaming at the mouth to show the NFL that they are not the team that everyone saw get blown out by the Patriots. Andrew Luck has thrown a lot of picks but has masked it by the amount of touchdowns he has thrown. His interception tendency will get the better of him on Sunday and he will look like a rookie QB.

Running Backs

STUDS

Darren McFadden – McFadden is finally back and looks like his former self.  This week, he plays Kansas City and should be due for a big game. If you kept McFadden on your roster this is the week that he will breakout and reward you for your patience.

Alfred Morris – After three consecutive games with over 100 yards rushing, Morris has become another rookie running back that is a must start. Even if RG3 does play, Morris will see a lot more carries to lighten his load. Look for his rushing attempts to be in the high twenties and him to produce huge against the Browns.

DUDS

C.J. Spiller – I do not like Spiller at all this week. The Seahawks defense is too good and can shut down running backs. The Bills will be forced to throw the ball a lot to keep them in the game and that will leave carries to be taken away form Spiller.

Frank Gore – Even thought the Patriots defense is still questionable against the pass, they are dominant against the run. Brandon Spikes and Vince Wilfork have been brick walls that opposing running backs cannot break. Gore will suffer with the same problems that I just mentioned with Spiller. I foresee the Pats getting ahead and the 49ers to thrown more than run, efectivly takeing carries away from Gore and making his fantsy value diminish.

Wide Receivers

STUDS

Randall Cobb – Do not let his week 2 performance against Chicago scare you into not starting Cobb this week. In the early part of the season, the Packers did not go to him much but now that he has emerged as a legit go-to guy for them, I would expect a heavy workload for the breakout receiver. Aaron Rodgers loves throwing to him in every situation, whether it be first down or third down. Whenever a quarterback has that kind of confidence in a receiver, you should to.

Lance Moore – Moore has had a somewhat streaky season but this week he has a very favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The last time these two teams faced off in week seven, Moore ended his day with 9 receptions and 121 receiving yards. I would expect similar numbers on Sunday and Moore could be a great replacement for a guy like Percy Harvin and others the rest of the way.

DUDS

Dez Bryant – We will have to see how Bryant plays with his injured finger to see if he is a viable fantasy option for the remainder of the season. It is a shame because he was on such a remarkable pace but I would look elsewhere for a more sure thing this week. If you are a “risk it all” fantasy player and play Dez anyway, then I admire your courage.

Brandon Marshall – Even though the Green Bay defense is questionable at times they are good a taking away the opposing teams top receiving threat. Back in week 2 when these two teams met, Marshall only had 2 receptions for 24 yards and with Jay Cutler’s neck still bothering him I would be very nervous playing him on Sunday.

Tight Ends

STUDS

Aaron Hernandez – This is the guy that everyone hoped he would be. Eight receptions and two touchdowns last week was an absolute stud performance. Tom Brady loves throwing to him and will keep throwing to him especially in the red zone as we have seen. The Pats are starting to get hot and if you have stayed patient with Hernandez all year you are definitely being rewarded now when it counts most.

Heath Miller – Now that Big Ben is back I would expect Miller to be seeing more targets as he did before Ben’s injury. He is playing a tough defense in the Dallas Cowboys this week but I still think he will have a solid outing despite that.

DUDS

Vernon Davis – Davis has been a non-factor in the 49ers past three games only gaining one fantasy point (ESPN STANDARD). At this point, you cannot afford to roll the dice on a guy like this hoping he figure it out. I would look to other tight ends that are still available in some leagues.

Antonio Gates – Gates has been disappointing this year only having three games with 10 fantasy points or higher.  This week he plays a fairly tough defense in terms of opposing tight ends in the Carolina Panthers and should not be your starting tight end. I would look for other options at tight end like Heath Miller.

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